The Library positions on implementing the Marrakesh Treaty in Europe13 December 2016
A call to MEPs and Member States by EBLIDA and IFLA
The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled of 2013 marks a historic step forwards for people with print disabilities who had long been prevented from accessing information by a market failure (…).
The Treaty sets a clear objective: a print disability should not preclude a person’s ability to exercise his human right of access to information, research and culture. To protect this right, governments must create exceptions allowing the making and sharing of accessible format copies of works for individual beneficiaries, without their needing to clear rights, for non-commercial purposes.
To achieve this, the EU’s implementation of the Treaty must remove the barriers that caused the book famine in the first place, and must certainly not create new ones. The choices Europe makes will affect not only its own citizens, but also people with print disabilities around the world.
Libraries have a central role to play in facilitating access. They are crucial repositories of books and other works, including in accessible formats. They have experience of managing and exchanging copyrighted materials, including internationally, and their staff are trained to respect rightholders’ interests. Libraries were also at the heart of the drive to make the Treaty of Marrakesh happen, and as ‘authorised entities’, charged with making and sharing accessible works, they will be central to implementation.
Read the full call here (PDF)
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